Dean Akande Defines Twitter

On April 16, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News

Jack Dorsey at Webster University

A few years ago the Walker School bestowed our Person of the Year award on Jack Dorsey, chairman, co-founder and creator of Twitter. During the Walker School’s “Tweet-up with Jack,” Dean Benjamin Akande recognized Dorsey for the powerful impact Twitter has had on society.

Akande said, “Twitter has fundamentally transformed the way we talk to each other; the way we listen to each other and the manner in which we inform one another. It has extended and strengthened the power of the written word.”

Akande went on to say that if he could summarize the impact of Twitter in 140 characters, he would tweet:  “Twitter is to our generation what Gutenberg Printing Press and Bell Telephone was to theirs.”

View a video of the Walker School’s “Tweet-up with Jack.”

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peter-maherPeter Maher, a professor and associate dean in the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, has been named Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, International Campuses and Initiatives. In this expanded role, he will oversee all international campuses and the growing number of international partnerships.

Maher joined Webster in 2004 and became associate dean in 2011. A committee will be formed to begin an international search for this position. This process is expected to take three to six months.

Join us in congratulating Peter Maher!

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Webster Expands 1-Year MBA

On April 9, 2015, in In the News, by Walker News

Offers Program at 11 Webster Locations in Four Countries

ST. LOUIS – Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology will offer its accelerated 1-Year Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Program at 11 campus locations in four countries beginning in August 2015. The program will also be delivered online.  Students enrolled in the program complete their MBA in one year in a cohort-based format that provides opportunities for them to build a global network, gain international perspective and acquire leadership skills.

Webster University launched its new 1-year MBA Program in August 2014 with 60 students enrolled at its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri as well as its campus locations in Orlando, Florida and Geneva, Switzerland. Beginning in August 2015, Webster University will expand its 1-Year MBA Program to its U.S. campuses in Columbia, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; and its international campuses in Leiden, the Netherlands and Vienna, Austria.

This program is structured to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults.  New graduates with bachelor’s degrees can also benefit from the program’s integrated global curriculum and the opportunity to pursue their MBA in one year.

“Webster’s 1-Year MBA Program instills a global perspective in students while teaching them to think critically, act decisively and lead with confidence,” said Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School.

Embedded in Webster’s one-year MBA program is a career management component that enables students to work with a professional career coach who understands their industry and is able to help them articulate and achieve their goals.  Students also have opportunities to participate in a global immersion travel experience, connect with other cohort students through live connected classes and strengthen their leadership skills with coursework specifically designed for Webster University by an Oxford University professor.

“As an entrepreneur and father of three young children, Webster’s accelerated 1-Year MBA Program is a great fit for my busy schedule,” Matt Marchal, a student in Webster University’s inaugural 1-Year MBA cohort, explained.  “I have met a diverse group of amazing professionals in my cohort who, like myself, desire to be more effective managers, leaders and business owners.”

Webster University’s Walker School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institute and its business programs can earn.

To learn more, visit

ocpfair1The Internship Fair hosted by Webster University’s Office of Corporate Partnerships on April 8 connected students with employers who are seeking to hire interns.  More than 100 students took advantage of the professional development opportunity, which gave them access to recruiters from various industries, including: finance, healthcare, information technology, marketing, public relations and more.



“In today’s highly competitive business environment, it’s imperative that students are exposed to career development opportunities,” said Benjamin Akande, chief of corporate partnerships and dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.  “Our internship fair was a success because it introduced Webster University talent to recruiters from local and global companies.”

In addition to discussing career opportunities with prospective employers, the Internship Fair included a deans’ table where students could chat with Webster University deans and register to win raffle prizes.

ocpfair4This Internship Fair marks the second career development event hosted this year by the Office of Corporate Partnerships.  Learn more about the Office of Corporate Partnerships.

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You Get Blamed and it’s Not Your Fault

On April 8, 2015, in Career Insight, by Walker News

We have all been there!  Unfortunately when that happens we tend to react rather than respond. So what if you get blamed for something and it’s not your fault?  With my limited experience with the blaming game, when it occurs, it can be very nasty. Watch Out!  It can cost you promotions, commissions and even your job.

There are six keys to handling “blamer” situations:  When you’re blamed, it always involves someone else who is hiding their incompetence or someone who is looking to set you up so they look like a saint.  Identify that person!  Treat them like a dangerous explosive until you’re sure they’re disarmed.

Action #1:  “Mentally Red Flag” when blaming happens once — even in small seemingly innocent matters.  Remember, a “Blamer” is very consistent and usually much more crafty and devious than non-blamers like you.  They’ve honed that skill for survival.

Action #2:  If it happens twice, go into “documentation” mode.  Keep records, emails, conversation notes, “confirmation of conversation” notes from you, information from customers, etc. Most of the time blamers find ways to report your “wrong doing” to the authorities. Having records prepares you to respond better to a concerned boss.

Action #3:  Identify the blamer’s allies — blamers usually don’t work alone.  Most people are drawn to befriend others just like themselves.

Action #4:  Identify your allies:  The best is the blamer’s boss, but they can be co-opted, so evaluate carefully; if the blamer’s boss is also your boss, look to make a department change or a career move.  Your boss can either make you or break you. You will be under fire if your boss always believes the constant blamer.

Action #5:  Know that there’s some risk in being a “tattle tale,” but there’s a bigger risk in a “victim,” so calculate your individual risk and make connections with allies as soon as appropriate.  Keep those allies informed of progress.

Action #6:  Blamers can only thrive in cultures that tolerate CYA, blaming, etc.  Get your resume together and find a better corporate culture.

Office politics can sometimes get ugly.  Good employees get fired, while not-so-good ones get promoted.  Some people get ahead by destroying other people’s reputations and outmaneuvering them in political gamesmanship.

Don’t get caught in someone else’s blaming web.

david hults-2014About the Author:
David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA. Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless. His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC. He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at

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The 2015 Masters Tournament by the Numbers

On April 8, 2015, in In the News, by Walker News

John Orr

There’s no shortage of intrigue or interesting statistics tied to the 79th Masters Tournament, held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA.  In the article, ”The 2015 Masters Tournament by the Numbers,” on, Associate Professor of Management John Orr offers his perspective on the biggest issues facing the game of golf and the economics of the sport.  Read the article for his insights.



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Women in Leadership Speaker Series Event

The Walker School welcomed Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, Kathy Mazzarella, Graybar president and chief executive officer, and Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Webster University president, on March 19 for a “Women in Leadership” panel discussion. More than 160 guests packed the commons of the East Academic Building to hear their insights on leading.  Watch a video of this event.

Mazzarella encouraged women to make their own path. “Don’t let anybody put you in a box and define what you can or cannot do,” she said.

Regarding the inevitable failures that will occur during one’s career, Mazzarella said, “Too often, people are afraid to take chances because of the visibility of a failure. When you fail, there is an opportunity in how you recover.”

She went on to share a lesson she learned early in her career after she was passed over for a promotion in favor of another colleague. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad. He said, ‘They are watching you to see how you react [to this disappointment]. How you handle yourself professionally will determine future events.’”

Clark discussed her climb up the corporate ladder.  “A career is a long time,” she said. “You can have multiple careers. I started Build-A-Bear at 48. Your life can evolve. The journey is better than the destination. Encourage other people to grow in their own jobs and seek out opportunities.”

She also offered perspective on the type of job a woman should seek.  “My advice to young women graduating from college is to get a job where you can see the results everyday.  You have to be willing to take risks and find ways to help your company grow.”

Clark, Stroble and Mazzarella

Clark, Stroble and Mazzarella

Stroble underlined those points by Mazzarella and Clark, and encouraged women to freely share their expertise and talents with others. “The most precious gifts are the ones you give away. Anything you hoard is really not yours,” said Stroble. “That’s what being a university president is all about. Webster was founded by women for women, before women had the right to vote.”

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, closed the event by thanking Stroble, Clark and Mazzarella for a wonderful dialogue.  He then asked the audience to take with them a few thoughts. “May you seek joy and fulfillment in the most challenging places,” he said.

“And in the sage words of Dr. Seuss, ‘Nobody said it would be easy; they just promised it would be worth it’.”

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Frank S. Perri

Join us at the Walker School for renowned criminal attorney Frank S. Perri’s lecture, “Leadership, Organizational Deviance and Corporate Fraud Risk Factors.”  This presentation will be held Thursday, April 23 from 6-8 p.m. at Webster University’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119.  The event is sponsored in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Greater St. Louis Area Chapter #105 (ACFE).

RSVP to attend.

About the Lecture:
In “Leadership, Organizational Deviance and Corporate Fraud Risk Factors” Perri will discuss fraud risk factors that apply to an organizational setting.  Topics covered include: individual criminal thinking patterns displayed by offenders, deviant leadership traits and strategies leadership utilizes to perpetrate their frauds.  In addition, the consequences of a compromised control environment, also referred to as the “tone at the top”, will be examined by reviewing social psychological dynamics such as corrupt corporate cultures, the impact of groupthink mind-sets, hierarchical power structures and their influence on employee behaviors that facilitate corporate fraud.  This lecture will also explore how board of director responsibilities are compromised, the challenges in overcoming organizational deviance and potential mitigating factors that may reduce the incidences of corporate fraud.  Diverse examples such as Enron, WorldCom and others will be used to give anti-fraud professionals a model to analyze organizational deviance.

About Frank S. Perri, JD, MBA, CPA, CFE: 
For more than 20 years, Frank S. Perri has worked as a criminal trial attorney.  His research interests include: the behavioral profile of white-collar criminals, red-collar crime, fraud-detection homicide and organizational deviance issues.  He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles in accounting, legal and psychology journals.  In addition he has lectured to various organizations including the Illinois CPA Society, American Accounting Association, American College of Forensic Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, the University of New Mexico and the Wisconsin Homicide Detectives Association. Perri received his law degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.


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The Story Behind the Gateway Arch

On March 27, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News
Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Professor Tracy Campbell

On March 27, the Walker School hosted Tracy Campbell, PhD, for a presentation about the Gateway Arch. A renowned historian, Campbell is the author of, “The Gateway Arch: A Biography,” which is a book about complicated and troubling history of St. Louis’ signature monument.

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, opened the event by welcoming guests and introducing Campbell. He said that while few of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the Arch each year understand the monument’s complicated history, Campbell’s book brings to light the true origins and meaning of this icon. Read Akande’s introduction to Campbell.

Following Akande’s remarks, Campbell began his presentation by sharing the reason why he chose to research the history of the Arch.  ”Behind every great building is the story of what was there before,” he said.

Envisioned in 1947 but not completed until the mid-1960s, Campell described the Arch grounds as, “Some of the most contested soil in U.S. history.” The reason, he explained, was because of the social, political and cultural factors at play during this time.

Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Professor Tracy Campbell

“The Arch is deeply ironic. It is huge and a magnificent work of public art, but it is also symbolic of a flawed strategy of city renewal.”

In addition to discussing the construction of the Arch, Campbell offered insight into the life of architect Eero Saarinen, whose prize-winning design brought him acclaim but also charges of plagiarism. While Saarinen never lived to see the completion of his vision, Campbell described him as a sculptor at-heart and said the Arch was his greatest sculptor.


Dean Benjamin Akande, Professor Tracy Campbell and Associate Dean Peter Maher

In closing, Akande thanked Campbell for being a part of the Walker Speaker Series and he encouraged the audience to find their own arch.

“To find that often illusive arch will require an expansive mind and inventive spirit, a tenacious grip and a brave heart,” Akande said. “While there will be people who will try to steer you onto another path, a safe path, a well-worn path, you must stay the course.”

Following the presentation, Campbell took questions from guests and signed copies of his book.

Watch a video recording of this event.


Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Dean Benjamin Akande introduces Professor Tracy Campbell

The Walker School hosted Tracy Campbell, PhD, author of The Gateway Arch: A Biography, on March 27.  Prior to Campbell’s presentation, Benjamin Akande, PhD, dean of the Walker School, shared the following remarks:

Good morning and welcome to the Walker Speaker Series.

The Gateway Arch is St. Louis’ signature monument. It defines the city’s place in American history and for nearly half a century has stood as one of the nation’s architectural points of pride and engineering ingenuity. While few of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the Arch each year understand the monument’s complicated history, The Gateway Arch is revered for the way it transforms a simple curve into an awe-inspiring experience of place. It is traditional and modern, disarmingly simple and extraordinarily complex, unadorned yet elegant.

Yet, it is in Tracy Campbell’s award-winning book The Gateway Arch that we come to understand the true origins and meaning of this icon.

A renowned historian, Tracy Campbell specializes in 20th century United States political and social history. He earned his Ph.D. at Duke University and has written many books including: Short of The Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Prichard, Jr., which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and The Gateway Arch: A Biography, which was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon, XM radio’s “The Bob Edwards Show,” and was selected by the History Book Club. And then The Gateway Arch was chosen as one of the “Best Books of 2013” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and won the 2014 Missouri History Book Award.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Arch in 2015, it’s indeed an honor to welcome to St. Louis and the Walker Speaker Series Dr. Tracy Campbell.

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